At his worst he was better than the best Bergman we can roll out there. Being a #6 would be good for his arm....and our staff.
Greg Johns has his typically even-handed take up on the next two weeks at the M's site. Sez he:
What they have to offer
The ability to take on salary is a significant factor, since many non-contending teams are willing to accept a smaller prospect package if they're able to unload higher-priced veterans for the final two months. The Mariners don't have as many elite prospects to compete on the trade market as most other contenders, but Dipoto hasn't let that stop him in the past.
There's an old axiom, "Where there's a will there's a way." Jack Nicklaus memorably used it with reference to his hitting golf balls in the snow growing up. With the Mariners there has seldom been a will, but Jerry Dipoto is probably the most aggressive trading GM in baseball.
The Mariners have put themselves in prime position to end MLB's longest playoff drought and reach the postseason for the first time since 2001. They have both motivation and money, with more than $6 million in 2018 payroll savings from Cano's suspension still available as well as the potential to increase the budget to make a postseason push.
Another point we've pressed year after year; a team's cap is whatever the team says it is. You remember Schilling going to Jerry Colangelo when the rumors were flying about the Backs being insolvent, and Colangelo smiled. He showed the players that the real operating surplus, as opposed to the public one, was different "on the order of tens of millions of dollars."
Problem is, Dipoto has shown a heartfelt love for three $12-13M players and a knicknack, as opposed to two $20M impact players. On that basis you would assume Hamels is out .... UNLESS the Rangers offered to take 1/4 or 1/3 of his salary, in precisely Mike Leake fashion. The M's are paying $13M of Leake's $18M salary I think; check me on that.
Complicating the issue is the impending return of Robinson Cano from his 80-game suspension on Aug. 14. That should provide a helpful boost to an offense that has seen Ryon Healy put up a .200/.227/.362 line in 27 games over the past month and center fielder Guillermo Heredia batting .175/.228/.228 in 41 games since June 1.
That'll do for us too.
Complicating the issue: is there ANY body here who can visualize Cano just putting on a 1B glove and jumping in there 2nd half? I can't imagine it even for a single game. Cano's pride enters in, you know, and even Dr. D can relate to the desire to not completely embarrass yourself.
Finally on Johns' fine column:
Rays right-hander Nathan Eovaldi or Blue Jays lefty J.A. Happ are the kind of starters who make sense to add for the final two months. Both are free agents after the season and thus wouldn't cost elite-level prospects, perhaps a promising reliever like Matt Festa (ranked No. 9 in the team's farm system by MLB Pipeline), Wyatt Mills (No. 10) or Seth Elledge (No. 17) and a lower-level prospect or international bonus pool money. Eovaldi is drawing considerable interest after finally getting healthy following his second Tommy John surgery, and he brings high upside, though he struggled his last outing so teams will want to make sure health isn't again an issue in his next start or two. Happ would be the safer option. He also hasn't been as sharp of late, but he's a proven innings eater who could definitely bolster the rotation.
And if those are the quality names we're talking about, there are what, 10 such starters out there. It's true that none of the names are really thrilling, and on some of them the prices are supposed to be sky-high. But they would not be for these two pending FA's.
What we do not know is what type of innings limit the M's have for Marco and Paxton... and what the plan is for Felix... so the M's KNOW if they NEED a 5th starter already - regardless of the injuries.
There is no way that all five guys are going to complete the year without any missed time. We have already dodged the DL bullet through 100 games. Team mojo will vanish if Rainieers start destroying good winning streaks.
Get us a pitcher!
Agreed with everyone else who says we need another starter. Whether a TOR or an innings eater, we're gonna need someone else. Preferably a guy who can pitch while Felix's "back" gets "tight" again in another month. And I couldn't agree more with Doc, where there's a will there's a way. The Dodgers just flipped 5 random dudes (the highest rated one was #11 in their system) for Manny Freaking Machado. Is he a rental? Yeah, but one in the middle of 5 WAR season, and more if he ever figures out how to field at short. And there's only one of him! There's several SP rentals, none of whom are half as valuable as Machado. If JeDi can't turn some random dudes from our system into a decent starter, he isn't doing his job right.
As for Cano, if he ego's his way out of helping our team I'm gonna be pretty blinking incensed. He's healthy and has some free time. GRAB A 1B GLOVE, SOME FRIENDS, AND START FIELDING GROUNDERS YOU MOOK. And no, he gets no cache now, he just finished getting himself suspended for either cheating, or being a massive idiot. His HOF chances are already on life support: from now on, he's obligated to run out grounders and learn extra positions if he wants to be given the benefit of the doubt. If he tries to slow mo his way back to second like it ain't no thang, I say we sit his a** four days a week until he agrees to do extra infield drills. Sure we'll miss his bat, but the defense will stay improved and he'll make a helluva pinch hitter, won't he?
Cano will surely be given orders by the team to get a first base mitt and work his butt off. If he doesn't, this off-season, we trade him to, like, the Reds.
When does 5 and 10 kick in for Cano? End of the year? Start of next season? Does his suspension impact it at all?
He'll be harder to move when it kicks in for sure.
It’s a lot harder to acquire the former mid season, assuming the M’s FO penchant for controllable players stays firm, than the latter. (Unless you’re talking salary dump... but we aren’t, so that’s that.)
JeDi loves trading because he loves getting the RIGHT(tm) guys. Have to figure that if he gets another Cano, it’s coming on the random year the Right Guy is a FA. Here’s hoping it’s this year... there are a pair of FA-to-be SP and OF I really like.
But that doesn’t solve 2018, so who knows what position we will be in after the trade deadline. Me, I’m guessing we end up with more of the Civics as upgrades rather than any Stars.
Prove me wrong, Jerry...